4 Reasons Not to Sell Your Home in the Winter

Mother and daughter building snowman in snowy yard

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Thinking of selling your home this winter? You may want to reevaluate those plans.

If you've been thinking about selling your home but haven't yet put it on the market, you may, at this point, be gearing up for a winter sale. In today's real estate market, selling during the winter may not be such a challenge. That's because low mortgage rates and limited inventory have fueled an uptick in buyer demand.

Still, selling a home during the winter months could have serious drawbacks. Here are a few reasons you may not want to go that route.

1. It's harder to show off your home's curb appeal

One big selling point that could result in a string of offers -- and higher ones -- is your home's curb appeal. If you've invested in nice landscaping, and have kept up with the maintenance of your porch, siding, and fence, those are things you want to highlight.

But it's harder to show off a home's curb appeal when the skies are gray and there's snow everywhere. If you live in a part of the country where winter tends to mean dismal weather, selling during that season may be a poor bet.

2. Weather delays can make showing more difficult

Selling a home means inviting some upheaval into your life. You need to make your home available for open houses, as well as showings for individual buyers, and that invasion of your space isn't easy to deal with even when the weather is cooperative.

But during the winter, snowstorms could force you to postpone or alter those plans. The result? Even more hassle.

3. Buyers might hold out for more inventory

It's not a secret that the spring season is the most popular time for sellers to list homes. If you list your property in the winter, you might benefit from limited competition, and find a buyer quickly as a result.

On the flip side, you may find that some potential buyers are hesitant to make an offer on your home because they're holding out to see if more options hit the market. And the longer your home sits on the market, the more bargaining power buyers get.

4. Selling in the winter could mean moving in the winter

Once you sell your home, you might have to deal with a wintertime move. Once again, the weather can be a huge deterrent. Imagine having to set up a new home in the middle of a string of snowstorms. That's not a fun prospect.

Selling a home in the winter is by no means guaranteed to be a disaster. Quite the contrary -- you may find that because there's so little inventory for buyers to choose from, you get a great offer on your home quickly. But before you make that decision, consider the downsides. You may decide to wait until spring to list your home, even if it means having more properties to compete with.

Our Research Expert